We’re pleased to invite our Turkish ambassador, Serbay Arda Ayzit, on the blog to get to know more about him, his background and his SEO recommendations.
1# Can you introduce yourself ?
Of course. My name is Serbay and I live in Istanbul in Turkey. I had finished a BA at the university and a MBA in Marketing & Communication in Istanbul. I am 36 years old and I’ve been working in Digital Marketing for 11 years.
2# How and why did you start doing SEO?
Actually I have two parts of my life about SEO. From 1999 to 2006 I was a moderator in one of the biggest forums in Turkey and I was helping site owners to get more traffic from Google. But those time Google wasn’t good as now so the things we implemented were really basic. In 2007, I entered my first professional job as an online marketing specialist. My biggest advantage of getting that job was my unprofessional knowledge about SEO. So I started SEO just to increase from traffic and then it becomes my professional job.
3# You have worked for 10 years in the biggest performance marketing agency in Turkey. Can you share with us your biggest SEO challenges during that time?
When I look back, my biggest challenge was trying to do something in a market so few people knew something about. Most of my agency life was about to educate my clients and their teams. I had the chance to work with big brands in Turkey so this challenge gave me the chance to learn new ways to tell CMO-Marketing Managers about Search and motivate them about the ROI. Other SEO challenges are mostly about human resources.
4# You have also created Contentus, a content marketing firm. Can you tell us what Contentus is doing?
Contentus is my content marketing company which I and my partner created 5 years ago. From my conference experiences, I knew that content marketing will be a big thing. I asked my partner let’s do it in Turkey and we opened. Contentus is creating stories for blog but also product descriptions, infographics, videos based on data our writers have researched. At Contentus, all our content strategists and writers know how to use SEO and keyword tools to create the best content for users. We’re now serving 10-15 different clients including Jaguar, Bmw, Nike etc.
5# Why and how content marketing and SEO should live together? Any recommendation when working on brand visibility?
In today’s world, these disciplines have to work together. SEO consultants can see competitors’ rankings, potential keywords, gaps and trends in a given market. Content agencies can write good, data supported contents to create the best user experience and to rank properly.
Understanding search intent is crucial so my only advice is to work together, create brainstorming sessions to fulfill the searcher intent. It also efficient to use content scoring based on topics you have used in article and setting up analytics content scoring using events. It helps you understand if your campaign is going well or not.
6# Which events do you track in Google Analytics to score your content?
I am using events in social share buttons, page scroll, time on page and then I create a score which is calculating these events with a score for each of the event. At the end I know which articles are really valuable for my clients and also which writers are good.
7# Let’s play a game, good or bad idea? And why in 2-3 sentences
AMP for Ecommerce websites?
Bad idea because in my opinion, it is decreasing conversion rates. Mobile version are better than AMP.
Sitemap or no Sitemap?
Sitemap for sure but for discovery purposes. Make your sitemaps clean if you want Google to discover fresh content but don’t think they will help you rank better.
Is more content always a good idea?
Bad idea. Less is better, searcher intent is everything. Create the best content which solves user problems. It may be once a week.
A faster website always a good idea?
Always a good idea. It increases conversion rate and you’re coming with less angry customers 🙂
Best optimized website you saw recently?
British airways is a good example. As an airlines website they managed to put relevant and valuable content about cities, information about their industry. Now they are ranking on strategic keywords but not just ones related to flight tickets.
8# Do you have any SEO experiment you would like to run this year and why?
Yes I am running some experiments to understand what Google is doing in their algorithm updates. For example I am using OnCrawl to scrape content from ranked websites to understand if product numbers in categories better affect ranking or not. I’m currently running it, so I’ll share the results later.
9# You’re attending a lot of SEO conferences. What’s your favorite? How do you pick your subjects?
Searchlove is the best for me. Search love is offers only one session during 2 days so no need to select. But when I have to pick a track, I am choosing visionary talks like voice search, AI in search, JS related sessions, etc. I’ll be talking at SearchLove this year actually.
10# You’ve joined the OnCrawl ambassador board recently. How does it feel? And what’s your favorite feature?
This is a great feeling being an ambassador for OnCrawl. Before being an ambassador, I was using the tool and I loved it. So having the chance to contribute more for OnCrawl is a great chance for me. I love merging different data from different data sources in OnCrawl and getting insights from it is great. For example with Search Console and Majestic integration, seeing how content length is affecting backlinks and rankings is valuable for me.
Thanks for your time Serbay and your feedbacks about the SEO industry! Talk to you soon 🙂
Listen his full interview: